Paramount+ prices rise amid pursuit of profitability

Paramount Global is raising the rate for most of its Paramount+ plans as it and other media giants continue to emphasize profitability over aggressive subscriber growth.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

June 24, 2024

2 Min Read
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(Source: PaulPaladin/Alamy Stock Photo)

Paramount Global is the latest in a wave of media giants to increase the price on streaming services amid a broader trend in which they are placing profitability ahead of sheer subscriber growth.

The ad-free version of Paramount+ With Showtime, the media giant's flagship streaming service, is rising by $1, to $12.99 per month for new and existing customers, while the cost of Paramount+ Essential, an ad-supported subscription tier, will jump by $2, to $7.99 per month for all new subscribers. And to make the situation more confusing, existing Paramount+ Essentials customers will stay at their current price.

The new, higher pricing is set to take effect August 20 for all new Paramount+ customers. The higher price will take hold for existing Paramount+ With Showtime subs on their next billing date (on or after September 20).

The move follows a wave of other recent price hikes for premium streaming services. Earlier this month, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) raised the price for the ad-free tiers of Max, the brand for a super-sized streaming service that launched in May 2023 and effectively combined the former HBO Max service with Discovery+. NBCUniversal's Peacock raised the price for its pair of tiers – Premium and Premium Plus – in mid-July. Last fall, Disney pushed price increases for the standalone premium tiers of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ in the US.

Related:Paramount's final fate starts to take shape

Awaiting Paramount's next big move

While profitability for streaming has become a clear priority, Paramount's price hikes also enter the picture as the company pursues ways to turn around its struggling business. Earlier this month, National Amusements, the controlling shareholder of Paramount owned by Shari Redstone, reportedly halted merger discussions with Skydance, David Ellison's production company.

Following the ouster of former Paramount CEO Bob Bakish in late April, Paramount Global is now being led by an "Office of the CEO" comprised of CBS CEO George Cheeks, Paramount Media Networks CEO Chris McCarthy and Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins.

Paramount is also exploring other paths forward. At its June 4 shareholder meeting, McCarthy said Paramount is looking into various options "with both SVoD [subscription video-on-demand] players and the leading technology platforms with the goal of forming a joint venture or a long-term strategic partnership to maximize our momentum and take advantage of our combined strengths."

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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